As Yahoo! Sports pointed out, by way of a Tully Corcoran column at FSHouston.com, the Houston Texans did something really nice during their 28-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. They gave Sara Wood and her son Landon a free house.
Wood's husband and Landon's father Scott died four weeks ago from combat-inflicted injuries in Iraq. He was 35. When she dressed him for burial, Sara put her husband in a Houston Texans jersey beneath his military dress uniform.
Since he died, Sara and Landon have been living with her mother, their home a single bedroom. They've been sleeping in the same bed.
Dan Wallrath, founder of Operation Finally Home, heard of the Woods' story and heard they were huge Texans fans. He called Texans owner Bob McNair to get the go-ahead to invite the Woods to a game and present them with the gift at halftime. Then he called Sara and told her they were funding a trip to a game for her and her son, and that at halftime they would call them to midfield, where they would give Landon a bicycle and have a moment honoring her husband's death.
So yeah, getting told she was getting a mortgage-free home was slight shock. The house will be built in a Houston suburb, and Sara gets input on the design. The plan is for them to move in this May.
Landon is still sorting it all out. When the crowd cheered for their new home, he thought they were still applauding him or his bicycle or something, and he gave everyone a thumbs up. He didn't know exactly why his mom was crying, sort of how he doesn't know exactly why Dad's not coming back yet. But he still prays to him, reciting the "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" prayer, which Scott taught him before he deployed, and after he prays that, Sara said, "Then he starts talking to daddy."
Operation Finally Home is an organization that Wallrath founded in 2005, which builds houses for wounded and siabled veterans or their widowed families. Everyone home it builds is mortgage free, which is huge, because I've seen a lot of stories of what happens to people after their Extreme Home Makeovers—they go bankrupt trying to fund their new homes. Operation Finally Home has built 32 homes in 32 states over its seven years.